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Chicago man gets 85 years for woman’s 2008 abduction, sexual assault

A felon will likely spend the rest of his life in prison for abducting a woman at gunpoint as she got into her car for work, then sexually assaulting and robbing her in a brutal attack in 2008, according to prosecutors.

Cook County Judge James Obbish on Thursday sentenced 25-year-old Byron Edwards to 85 years in prison, according to the Cook County state’s attorney’s office. He had been convicted by a jury of six counts of criminal sexual assault, and single counts of armed robbery, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated criminal sexual assault.

The victim was a school bus dispatcher who was getting ready to go to work on the morning of Nov. 19, 2008, when Edwards “approached from behind, held a gun to the side of her head and ordered the victim not to scream, threatening to kill her if she did,” the statement said.

Wearing a hood, gloves and a handkerchief on his face, he forced the woman to drive to a nearby alley. He demanded money, but when she gave him $40 and “pleaded with Edwards to let her go . . . he forced the victim to engage in various sex acts,” prosecutors said.

Scared when a garage door opened in the alley, Edwards then forced the woman to drive around for several blocks before getting out of the car at a McDonald’s restaurant and “telling the victim that he was ‘a sinner’,” prosecutors said.

The woman went into the McDonald’s and called police before being taken to St. Bernard Hospital, where a sample of Edwards’ DNA was obtained, prosecutors said.

The case then went cold for two years before Edwards, of the 7000 block of South Lawrence, was convicted of an unrelated vehicular hijacking, prosecutors said. His DNA was then tested and proved a match to the 2008 attack.